Friendships that cannot be lost

What happens when we have to give up close, personal contact in a friendship that has been dear to us? How can we be comforted?

We might find encouragement in the account of Julia S. Bartlett's relationship with Mary Baker Eddy. Miss Bartlett was one of the most faithful of Mrs. Eddy's students, and the personal contact she enjoyed with her teacher was very dear to her. Miss Bartlett was often invited to visit and talk with her teacher after the day's work was done.

As the demands grew on Mrs. Eddy's work as Leader of the Christian Science movement, Miss Bartlett recognized the value of making the most productive use of their moments together. She writes of this experience: "I told Mrs. Eddy how much I always enjoyed and appreciated my visits with her, but that I felt I should not take her time and thereby add to her burdens with all she had to attend to, and that if she did not invite me anymore, I would understand, but I would be glad to go at any time I could be of any service to her. I said to her, 'I love you, and I know you love me, and I do not have to see you personally to know this.' When I saw the beautiful expression that came over her face and heard what she said, I knew what it meant to her and was glad." We Knew Mary Baker Eddy (Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1979), p. 52 . In this spirit of selfless love, Miss Bartlett continued to enjoy rewarding visits with her Leader, teacher, and friend, in behalf of the Cause they loved so dearly.

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Burden or blessing?
December 17, 1984

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